Weekend Projects

It’s Time to Give Some Love to a Humble, Hardworking Part of Your Kitchen

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Federico Paul)

The kitchen backsplash is often the accent of your kitchen, the design choice (whether your own or someone else’s) that gives your kitchen its personality and color scheme. Even if your backsplash is humble, it sets your kitchen’s tone. But backsplashes are not just for looks; they work hard, catching splatters, smoke, and dirt that we rarely notice.

This weekend, we’re going to give this enduring and often-overlooked surface of your kitchen some care and attention.

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

(Image credit: Hannah Puechmarin)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This Weekend’s Assignment:

Clean your kitchen’s backsplash.

Here are some of our best tips for how to do it:

  • First, clear your counters, working by sections, so you have a clear view and don’t have to twist around anything to get to the backsplash.
  • Spray an all-purpose cleaner on your backsplash, working in small sections and starting at the top. Let it sit for a minute to work through the dirt.
  • Use a de-greasing spray on areas that collect grease, such as next to and/or behind the stove. Try something like Goo Gone if it’s really bad (coconut oil works too), and let it sit while you do the rest of the kitchen.
  • Wipe down with a cloth. If your tile and grout are fairly level and smooth, like with subway tile, use a microfiber cloth. If not, use a regular rag that won’t snag or catch while you’re wiping.
  • Pay attention to the area behind and around the sink—another spot that tends to need extra wiping—if you have a backsplash in that area.
  • Take a closer look at problem areas after you’ve wiped down the entire back splash. In particular, look for any dirty grout.
  • Make a grout-cleaning paste. One way to address unclean grout is with baking soda and a toothbrush or a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda solution, much like when you go to tackle your bathroom grout.
  • Scrub with a Magic Eraser, another trick that’s especially effective in smaller grout trouble spots just like those on a backsplash.
  • Take a final look. Your Magic Eraser can also likely get the lingering grime off those still-not-quite-clean areas of the backsplash.

Your sparkling backsplash is now a pristine, beautiful backdrop for all your kitchen’s bustle.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.